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by Kristine Christlieb  •  •  April 28, 2022   

Sidelined bishop denied clarity

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More information has surfaced regarding the dubious ousting of Puerto Rican bishop Daniel Fernández Torres by Pope Francis.

Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb lays out the new details that have come to light.

In December 2021, Fernández Torres requested an explanation from the Vatican as to why he was being canned, according to a new investigation by The Pillar.

He addressed Cdl. Marc Ouellet, the head of the Vatican office in charge of bishops.

Bp. Fernández Torres: "I request the delivery in writing of what has been verbally and generally requested of me, with the reasons for it."

He noted to Ouellet, his ousting is being "carried out without keeping any formality" and "lacks true justice."

It was revealed in March that Fernández Torres had been told by Pope Francis' delegate that he "had not been obedient to the pope, nor had [he] had sufficient communion with [his] brother bishops of Puerto Rico."

Fernández Torres said in his letter to Ouellet, a big part of his dismissal was his refusal to join in with the other Puerto Rican bishops to push the jab.

Bp. Fernández Torres: "I have opposed what I consider to be using episcopal ministry to advance political agendas."

He reminded Ouellet he had simply restated the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's assertion that a person can conscientiously object to the jab.

The Arecibo bishop wrote to his sheep in March, "I have not been prosecuted, nor have I been formally accused of anything."

All official acts — like the dismissal of a bishop — are supposed to be expressed in writing and should allow the accused person to face his accusers and defend himself. But in this case, none of that happened.

Fernández Torres was also faulted for sending seminarians to Spain instead of a new interdiocesan seminary that opened in Puerto Rico in 2020. The bishop told Ouellet he would send them to the Puerto Rican seminary if the pope ordered it, but he received no such command from the pope.

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